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friday favourites 11.02.11

today's guest contributor
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^ that note comes to you courtesy of hecubus, our siamese, the home's tiniest resident, but usually its most vocal. i believe that's his way of saying that it's time for another edition of friday favourites, that sweet pause in the week where i take a few moments to think about what's made the past seven days better. 

clinique vétérinaire plateau mont-royal :: animal lovers know how difficult it can be to find a good vet. it's actually worse than finding a good doctor, because a lot of vets are just in the game to make money. i had a truly horrific experience with chats decarie (since closed), where the staff refused to give me straight answers to any of my questions, but kept insisting that i had to purchase more medications and services or i was a horrible pet owner. but that's over now, because, through an old friend of dom's, we found the cvpmr.

breathing easier, as are his parents
it's no accident that judith weissman and her staff are consistently selected as one of the top clinics in montreal. they're friendly, fluently bilingual, professional and, most importantly, they don't try to hard sell you on things you don't need. part of being a good vet is being able to set the "parents'" minds at ease. yes, your animal companions can get sick, but not every sickness is life-threatening. even chronic conditions are manageable and, as the staff there are more than willing to assure you, the most important component of maintaining an animal's good health is knowing when you really need to be worried.

our latest trip there came because our beloved little tuxedo-boy seth seemed to be having some respiratory difficulty this morning. a check-up and a quick x-ray later, we were reassured that this is likely a passing thing, there are no signs of a viral infection or obstruction in the lungs. there is the chance that he may, like his mom, have asthma. in which case we'll both have to make sure to keep our inhalers close by.

we left feeling relieved, cared for and respected. what more could you ask from a vet?


stephane @ videotron tech help :: a lot of people tell me that they have problems with videotron. i assume that they're not exaggerating, but i have to sort of shrug, because i've always been happy with their service. think about that: when was the last time you were actually happy- as opposed to "fine"- with the service provided by your phone, cable or internet company? it's just that, in my case, they're always easy to deal with and whenever i've had a problem, they've helped. (that includes fixing the wiring to my apartment that somehow got screwed up when bell tried to connect a phone line.)

but today, i'd like to give a particular thanks to stephane in the tech support department, who stayed solved a bizarre internet problem for us- something that may not even have related to equipment that videotron provided, in the end- even taking the time to research what might have been wrong and calling us back minutes later, rather than just sticking us on hold, like some other service providers i've dealt with.

fashion's promise :: yes, it's still freezing cold (worse this week than last, overall) and yes, there's still snow everywhere, so you'd be forgiven for getting lost in the darkness that is winter (particularly if you live in the middle of the u.s. these days), but every year around this time, the fashion world does us a solid and reminds us all that milder days are ahead. because february hails the arrival of spring collections. brighter colours and lighter fabrics start to sneak onto racks when we're not looking. sure, if you're me, you're likely to find more things that you like in the fall, but there's something nice about knowing that spring is puckering its soft coral-pink lips and blowing you a kiss. and one company has even chose to remind us that we have enough superhero in us to fight our way through the icy conditions for another few weeks.

this :: a painstaking recreation of joy division's performance of "transmission" on the show "something else". with playmobil. what more can i say?



¡la revolucion! :: is there really anything else to talk about? it's only two short weeks ago that i said i'd be watching events in egypt closely. at that point, demonstrations there were just starting to get full news coverage, but one had the sense that there was something major going on there. something that carried the force of public will. and indeed, just a few hours ago, hosni mubarak finally bowed to the will of the people and resigned.

despite the presence of provocateurs- and reports indicate that these were largely government supporters- protesters did not give in to the invitation to violence, the stuck to their guns by not sticking to guns and they got what they demanded. but there's a lot more going on. first, there's the fact that, by keeping protests peaceful and by acknowledging the wisdom of a provisional government to help bring stability, egyptians have also toppled a lot of western assumptions about arabs. and let us not forget that mubarak for years was a dictator who had the backing of the united states. egypt has effectively shown that the will of a people can bring even the world's great superpower to heel. (it helps that the world's great superpower has a bit more of a level head in charge at the moment.) and of course, there's the fact that this is the first revolution that made significant use of new media in building momentum. that's something that will be analysed for years to come.

it's worth noting that even the traditional media fared well in this. winning high praise from egyptian dissidents, major news networks stuck their necks out (and some almost got them broken) to show what was going on.

but, as obama said, this is all about the egyptian people. yes, there is lots of work to be done and yes, there will be continued problems to face. but it's pretty impossible not to love what's going on there tonight.

so what made your week? what's brought a smile to your lips? feel free to share.

this week, while i'll continue to watch events in egypt, i'll also be taking a bit of a breather and making sure my little black and white boy is ok. i won't lie, i got a real scare this morning, but now i just want to keep an eye on him and make sure that he continues to improve. plus, of course, i'll be concentrating on myself and my continuing job hunt. i've enjoyed the last couple of months' vacation, i won't lie, but i'm aware that it's time to put on my big girl pants and go back to the working world. know anyone in montreal who wants to hire a marketing professional with over a decade experience, great communication skills and organisational ability? wish me luck.

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eat the cup 2018, part seven :: oh, lionheart

it all seemed so magical: england's fresh-faced youngsters marching all the way through to a semi-final for the first time since 1990. everywhere, the delirious chants of "it's coming home". and then, deep into added time, the sad realization: it's not coming home. oh england, my lionheart.

now, if we're being really strict about things, my scottish ancestors would probably disown me for supporting England, because those are the bastards who drove them off their land and sent them packing to this country that's too hot in the summer and too cold in the winter. and indeed, shops in scotland have sold through their entire stock of croatian jerseys, as the natives rallied behind england's opponents in the semi-final. however, a few generations before they were starved and hounded from the lands they'd occupied for centuries, my particular brand of scottish ancestors would have encouraged me to support england [assuming that national football had even…

dj kali & mr. dna @ casa del popolo post-punk night

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mr. dna started off putting the "punk" into the night [which i think technically means i was responsible for the post, which doesn't sound quite so exciting]. i'd say that he definitely had the edge in the bouncy energy department.

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friday favourites 20.07.12

i was almost going to skip it this week. not out of any disinterest, but i always feel weird posting something flip and cheeky on days when the news is choked with stories of some location filled with people going about their lives suddenly getting shot up by a lone maniac with some sort of personal gripe or agenda.

awful things happen every single day. people who lead otherwise normal lives are suddenly transformed through violence every single day. by the harsh standards of the world, what happened last night in aurora, colorado isn't even close to the worst. i'm sure families in syria would consider a day where ten people died to be better than average. but there is something about these completely random mass shootings in otherwise fairly peaceful places that haunts us all here in the western world. it happened today with aurora. it happened a year ago sunday in norway. it happened in another colorado town, now synonymous with the terror of such a massacre in 1999.

what h…